The NHS Commissioning Board plans to run a second round of the Information Sharing Challenge Fund in the next financial year.

This week, EHI has run a series of articles on the Department of Health’s £2m ITK fund, which was given to 43 projects at 38 trusts or NHS organisations to support information sharing projects.

Projects have to be finished by the end of March, but more than ten are struggling to meet the deadline.

A spokesperson from the DH told EHI that despite some projects failing to finish on time, the fund would be continued next year.

“We understand that the NHS Commissioning Board intend to run another fund in financial year 2013-14. The priorities for this round of funding are yet to be developed. No further details have been confirmed yet.”

Unfinished projects will only receive funding for the milestones they have achieved and money left over will be returned to the Treasury.

However, the DH spokesperson said the projects would continue to get support.

“There are some projects that have completed some but not all of their milestones who we understand will continue with their deployments, but will not incur all the ISCF funding granted,” said the spokesperson.

“The ITK team will continue to work with these projects to support them to complete their milestones.

“The ITK team will identify any lessons learned to avoid this happening in future and share any common experiences with the NHS."

EHI has highlighted three projects this week. South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is using ITK funding to link information from telehealth devices to the trust’s clinical records.

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is implementing an online booking system, which links up to the patient administration system.

And a team at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has developed an open source integration engine that is ITK-compliant.

“The ITK team will continue to work with these trusts on tracking benefits, lessons learned and compiling case studies to share with the wider NHS and industry,” said the spokesperson.

In January, NHS Connecting for Health announced on its website that it was looking for ideas for future projects.

“ITK is part of the government’s interoperability plans and this is highlighted by the intention of the NHS Commissioning Board to run a further ISCF,” said the DH spokesperson.

“We will confirm the ISCF outcomes during April once delivery for each project is clear.”